Hansen Design Co. Inc. gives its clients what they want, and then some. For principal Pat Hansen and her Seattle-based firm, delivering more than what’s expected is a way of life. Hansen, who personally handles such long-term clients as the University of Washington School of Medicine, Microsoft and Boeing, offers these tips for keeping clients happy:
- Be consistent with good ideas. Customers will learn they can rely on you to solve their problems.
- Do your homework. Research every aspect of a company, its philosophy and the problem it wants to solve, to provide a dead-on solution.
- Look at a problem from all sides. Sometimes the best solution is found when coming at a problem from an unusual angle.
- Listen. Show your clients that you think they know what’s best for them.
- Communicate well. Develop open, frequent communication, and be receptive to criticism or worries from customers.
- Be honest. If something isn’t working, it’s best to address it right away. Clients will appreciate the straightforward approach.
- Build mutual trust and respect. Once you’ve grown to understand each other and trust the quality of results, you can rely on each other’s instincts and trust each other’s judgment.
- Bend over backwards. Customers will respect and be grateful to you when they see you working hard for their products.
- Maintain high standards. Every project is worth 100% of your effort. Don’t let quality suffer, no matter how busy you become.
HOW December 2000